ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The mail might make it through rain or snow, but an economic recession and major changes in communication?
The Postal Service is currently reviewing more than 3,500 retail locations for possible closure, including five in the St. Louis area. The agency lost $8 billion last year due to first-class mail’s move to the internet and a decline in advertising mail because of the recession.
The area offices that are on the list for review are Maplewood, Ferguson, Jefferson-Memorial, Chambers and Giles.
Being on the review list does not necessarily mean a closure is imminent – of the locations that have completed review, under 60% have been closed.
In addition, many of the locations will be replaced by “Village Post Offices,” which are located in grocery stores, libraries or government buildings. Postal Service spokesperson Valerie Welsch says people just aren’t visiting the physical locations anymore.
“Today’s customer is doing business with the Postal Service in a variety of ways,” she says. “They’re using online services, they’re going into their local grocery store, their bank.”
Welsch says the Postal Service needs to change its infrastructure to keep up with changes in demand.
“We have almost 32,000 retail outlets – that’s more than McDonalds – and there’s just not a need,” she says.
Welsch says if there are to be closures in the St. Louis area they will not take place before December. Postal Vice President Dean Granholm says as many as 3,000 offices conduct business for only two hours each day, though they remain open longer.
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